The upsides of downward deference

  • Reference: 75264

  • Number of pages: 9

  • Publication Date: Apr 1, 2021

  • Source: IESE (España)

  • Type of Document: Article

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Leaders who find themselves out of their element can get ahead by deferring to subordinates. Here we explain how power can come from letting it go.


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IESE Business School Insight. The upsides of downward deference
Downward deference is about reducing your own position relative to another in order to be more equal. By practicing the behaviors highlighted here, leaders may enjoy higher performance ratings and more progressions into executive ranks over time, according to research by IESE’s B. Sebastian Reiche and Harvard’s Tsedal B. Neeley. Sometimes to gain power, you have to let it go.
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